As you know, former Chief Justice Hassell passed away last Wednesday. I never know what to say at times like this. My partner, Mike Pace, always seems to know exactly what to say. Here is part of what he wrote:

It is with much sadness I report that Justice Leroy Roundtree Hassell passed away early this morning.

Those of us who had the good fortune to know him were made better people and better servants of the public through the law because of him. He was a strong voice advocating for the continued independence of the judiciary, access to justice for everyone, particularly the poor and under served, and respect for the rule of law. The citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia are better and safer because of him.

Justice Hassell believed lawyers and judges are the protectors of the public. Those of us who were fortunate to hear Justice Hassell’s address at the VBA Winter meeting in Williamsburg in January will forever remember his words. Fortunately, his comments were videotaped. I intend to get a copy and show it at our next firm meeting. His remarks were inspiring and made even more poignant today.

Please remember Justice Hassell and his family, and let us recommit ourselves as citizen lawyers to those principals he believed were vital to the protection of individual liberty and the collective rights we enjoy as Virginians and as Americans.

That sounds right.